Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Evacetrapib - please try harder

The world of lipidology is a surreal one, where many intelligent people run around with a serious tone in their voice and a set of guidelines – busily allotting humans into categories of:

·         pretty good, but you can do better,
·         not good, but don’t worry, we’ll fix you; and
·         how are you still alive?

Then, with the utmost surety, the smart people who know better than you, prescribe various forms of diet and drugs. There is no room for uncertainty in this world – blood fat is where it’s at.

The internet is littered with forums and blogs where people compare numbers and rejoice when LDL is low or feel like a failure when it is not. Jealousy over someone else’s numbers is both common and bizarre. Even people who claim not to ascribe to the lipid hypothesis get rather animated when a particular number is not where it is supposed to be.

“I thought the lipid hypothesis was bullshit, but then my LDL number got a bit too high for my liking…so I started believing and became a born again vegan”.

Or something to that effect.

That makes about as much sense to me as the previously staunch atheists who, after being jailed for life or sentenced to death, suddenly find God. I'm all for hedging bets, but ignoring your instincts and then crucifying your self-respect to do it, seems a little silly.

As it happens, my last visit to a GP ended in him giving me a prescription for atorvastatin and a suggestion that I should stop using the internet for information. Honestly, that is exactly what he said. I discarded both items of advice because (a) I’m in denial…der, and (b) I reckon I could have taken him if it came down to a wrestling match where he tried to stuff pills down my throat and poke my eyes out.

Which brings me to Evacetrapib, the Cholesterol Ester Transfer Protein Inhibitor that had lipidologists holding their breath, expecting the ridiculously named wonder drug to lead us all to squeaky-clean-artery-nirvana. 

You see, CETP Inhibitors have a miraculous ability to lower LDL-C and increase HDL-C, which also happens to be the equivalent of a lipidologist’s wet dream. The fact that CETP Inhibitors have not exactly set the world on fire, despite their magical ability to produce ‘wonderful lipids’, didn’t stop the crew at Eli Lilly from giving it a good crack. 

Pfizer tried their hardest with Torcetrapib, but, despite it working well, it had the unfortunate side effect of death in some people. Hoffman-La Roche came up to bat with Dalcetrapib, with very disappointing, albeit vague, results. Eli Lilly have now stopped phase 3 trials of Evacetrapib becausethere was a low probability the study would achieve its primary endpoint based on results to date.”

What exactly that means, hopefully we’ll eventually find out, but in the interim all it means is the share price of Lilly takes a good whack. For a group of Japanese trial participants, it certainly resulted in massive increases to HDL and significant reduction in LDL – that these didn't result in “primary endpoints” is a little confusing. What does a pharma company have to do to get some bloody results, for Odin’s sake? Lipidology black magic is not enough?

Not to worry, though, because Merck is hoping to be the Steven Bradbury of lipidology, with “encouraging” progress on Anacetrapib. That the drug remains in your system 4 years after you stop taking it, shouldn't give you reason to be a Captain Killjoy. 

In other news:
The equivalent of 4 cigars laced with asbestos

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Nestle have mastered nutritional alchemy

I thought I'd had enough exposure to the Health Star Rating clusterfuck, but I notice that more products are putting stars on their labels and the stupidity is becoming unavoidable.

Taking a lead from Uncle Toby's very healthy sugary breakfast cereal, Nestle are in on the act and have a spectacular 4 and a half stars (out of 5) for:

Which is comprised of:

Yes, that's what it says - 46.4% sugar per 100g of 'healthy' milo. 

How is that possible, you may ask. Well, when you dilute 20g of milo in white water (aka skim milk), the sugar percentage magically reduces to 21%. Which is still a shitload of sugar, but given the 5% saturated fat and 20% protein, the combination is seemingly enough to push the bullshit meter up to 4 and a half stars. 

Funnily enough, the label says that if you're so ignorant of what is healthy that you use reduced fat milk, you only benefit from a 3 star drink. 

But of course no one is that stupid. 

Nestle and Uncle Toby clearly enjoy playing silly buggers and to be quite honest, I admire their dry sense of humour. Heading over to the Nestle site, there are non-stop giggles with a very informative fact sheet on sugar

I think we can all learn something from Nestle - that healthy eating (as endorsed by the nutritional authorities) is quite easy. Simply eat whatever sugary crap you like by sticking it in a blender with 200ml of skim milk and what you get is 4 and a half stars of nutritional alchemy. 


Tuesday, 13 October 2015

chooks equal stress relief

There are few things I find more relaxing and mind-emptying than taking a seat in the chook yard and watching them do their thing. 

If you work or live in a stressful environment, I highly recommend them.

Cats or dogs may be cute and make decent companions, but they don't provide you with breakfast. 

Monday, 12 October 2015

Car for sale

Just getting rid of some adverts I wrote for my work noticeboard. After selling some shoes the other day, it seems the moderator has chosen to remind me that:

"Please note for future reference that your post did not meet the Noticeboard standards. Standards require notices to be specific and descriptive (to the item for sale)."

I s'pose they have a point. I'd obviously not make it as a marketing exec because all my ads are 20 times too detailed and require way too much focus from the consumer. Consumer's want brevity, humour, a hint of sex and to be convinced they 'need' what you are selling. All in the space of 15-30 seconds or they'll go back to sending photos of their genitals on snapchat.

I don't really know what snapchat is but I'm told, by a reliable source, that is what young people use it for. 

Anyway, here is the ad from last year when I had to sell my car. I hated that car, but of course you can't tell prospective buyers that.  

For Sale.


Look, I know times are tough – our city is apparently booming if you happen to be driving a truck for Inpex, but for everyone else I can imagine it not being that easy to stump up cash to buy my astoundingly handsome car. But considering our insane house prices, surely you have at least $800k of equity in your home that is sitting around waiting to be used.

Clearly your 'child', who is 35 and still living at home, would be seen and heard a lot less if you supplied them with reliable transport.

Surely your spouse will never again be able to refer to you as "lacking excitement and spontaneity" if you surprise them with a shiny green toy.

Hopefully this is a wake-up call to you all because, after a whole week of advertising on this noticeboard, all I have are people emailing/taunting me with comments such as "ha ha, I don't want your car, but just wanted to say..."

Honestly, I have no words because that is just so cruel.

Take another long look and let the awesomeness wash over you.

Original Advert

Yes, it may look like the many other Toyota Camries on the road, but this one is special - his name is Randall. Don’t call him Randy. He hates that.

Main details:
Name: Randall Franciscus Dominic Camry II
Scientific name: Toyota Camry Altise Limited – ACV36R (Jul)
Born – October 2005
Motor - 4 cylinder 2.4L automatic
Kilometres travelled – 89,000
Colour –I dunno, look at the pictures. I owned a ‘purple’ car for years and then discovered it was actually dark green
Doors – 4
Boot – 1
Wheels – 4, plus one full-size spare (space-saver tyres are an abomination), plus one steering wheel. So…6 in total.

Pictures are attached. I draped myself over the bonnet and pouted my lips seductively but my wife couldn’t stop laughing so the pics I wanted to post were all blurry and unusable. Pity, as I don’t really have another use for the mankini.

If you want to meet Randall and bear witness to his brilliantness, please email me. I will even let you kick his tyres and honk his horn.

You can haggle if you want, but honestly, do you really want to cheapen our relationship this early in the peace? Do you really want to hurt me? Do you really want to make me cry? Do you really want to hurt meeeeeee?

That’s a rhetorical question.

It’s also a reference to a hit song from the 80s, just in case any Gen Y readers are confused. I hear that’s a Gen Y thing…being confused. To clear up some more confusion, no, the dinosaurs did not still roam the earth in the 80s and we managed to live quite happily without i-things and social media. Believe it or not, but friendships in those days involved speaking to each other in person and talking in acronyms usually resulted in someone getting their nose broken.

Great days.

Anyway, reminiscing aside, Randall is located in the city during business hours and in the suburbs after that. I’ve heard that sometimes potential buyers expect sellers to drive to their houses for an inspection. I am neither insane nor gullible so the chances of me doing that are almost zero. Unless of course you have just tapped a keg and have bbq ribs on the go.

You are welcome to get your brother’s ex-wife’s uncle, who was once a mechanic but now a naturopath, to inspect Randall. But if they say he has terminal gluten intolerance, then I reserve the right to laugh at you and slash the selling price by $2.50.

Randall’s additional features:
  • Tow bar – for towing Mr Sprinkles to polo matches on weekends
  • alloy wheels - for…umm…not looking like plastic
  • air-conditioner - do I really need to waste text by saying that it’s cold? Well, it is, and I just have. Are you happy now?
  • Sheep’s skin front & rear seat covers - from a really, really happy ewe that was a bit hot and needed a haircut. That her skin came off too, is not my fault
  • Big boot - can easily transport a large, human-size object. Not that I did that. At least you can’t prove that I did. The garbage bags were very thick
  • headlights
  • indicators
  • seat belts
  • lots of other little lights
  • accelerator and brake pedals
  • massive mojo
  • The Power of Greyskull
None of our kids have ever thrown up in the back. Or the front. Or the boot. We don’t smoke (cigarettes) or own a dog, so make of that what you will. We do own some chooks but they’ve never borrowed it without my permission. I’ve also never knowingly transported a militant vegan in this car, so that probably adds value too.
koala food